It is one of football’s quirky yet surprisingly well-known myths that the famous red and white stripes of Athletic Bilbao were inspired by the colours of two English clubs. The kit’s design, chosen in 1914, was a tribute to the shipyard workers from Southampton, and coal-miners from Sunderland, who first introduced the game to the Basques at the end of the 19th century.
It is a club with a firm Basque nationalist stance and a policy of ‘Cantera’ (only selecting Basque nationals to play), and yet it has an indelible link to a foreign country -England- and this link is preserved through the striped shirt.
However, it is not just in the team’s attire that Athletic have been influenced by la Inglesa. The club have referred to England as la Madre del fútbol (the mother of football), and… Continue reading →